Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Meet Julie Flanders!

Hi all!  I'm participating in the Blogger Book Fair this week!  Don't miss out on all the giveaways, Freebies, and more.  Check here for more information.

My first guest for the week is Julie Flanders, Author of Polar Night.

Hi Julie, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I live in Cincinnati, Ohio and I work as a librarian when I’m not writing. I am an animal lover and I share my home with my dog and my cat.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

I’m a big fan of Elizabeth George and her Thomas Lynley mystery series because I like that she makes her stories about her characters and has them grow and change through her novels. I tried to go by that approach with my Polar Night story; it’s more about the characters than it is about the crime or mystery. In recent years I’ve become a huge fan of George R.R. Martin and I’m obsessed with his A Song of Ice and Fire series. I love dark stories and admire how fearless he is when it comes to taking dark turns with his characters.

What are you reading?

Right now I’m reading Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade by Susan Flett Swiderski. She’s a friend of mine who I met through blogging and I love her work. She’s a very funny and charming lady.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I love to read and I watch way too much television. I’m also a big sports fan and love the Cincinnati Reds and the Ohio State Buckeyes. I enjoy walking and taking my dog with me to the parks and walking trails in our area.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I got started writing relatively late in life – I was around 40 when I first started taking my writing seriously. I always loved concocting stories in my head but for most of my life I told myself I wasn’t creative enough to write them down. I finished my first book Polar Night in 2012 and was fortunate to sign a publishing contract later that year.

Where do you get your ideas?

The idea for Polar Night came from a dream. I’ve had other ideas that started out as dreams and some just come to me while I’m out walking with my dog. There is a park near my house that is very quiet in the morning and I often get ideas when we are walking there in the morning hours. The idea for my upcoming novel The Ghosts of Aquinnah came when I was looking at a webcam of Martha’s Vineyard before going there on vacation.

Are you a pantser?  Or do you outline?

A little of both. I jot down ideas and try to plan out the story somewhat but I don’t do a formal outline. I like to have an idea of what I’m working towards but I make changes constantly while I’m writing.

Can you tell us the challenges in getting your first book published?

My biggest challenge was that I had no idea what I was doing! I was totally new to the publishing world and had no idea what to expect. I definitely learned as I went along and I still feel like I have a great deal to learn.

Tell us about your novel.

Polar Night is a supernatural thriller that takes place in Alaska during the dead of winter. Danny Fitzpatrick is a detective in Fairbanks who is working on cases involving missing women and stumbles upon some ominous connections. His investigation leads him to the Arctic town of Coldfoot and a hotel proprietor named Aleksei Nechayev. The truth about Nechayev and the missing women shakes Danny to his core and changes his whole view of the world and what’s in it.

How did you come up with the title?

The title refers to the phenomenon of 24-hour darkness in the Arctic regions during the winter months.

Who designed the cover?

An artist named George Cotronis

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The editing and the revising, no doubt.

If you had it to do all over again, would you change anything about your latest book?

I don’t think so, I’m very happy with the book and the characters.

What project are you working on now?

I’m going through final edits and revisions for my upcoming novel The Ghosts of Aquinnah.

Any new books coming out? 

The Ghosts of Aquinnah will be published by Ink Smith Publishing in December of 2013.

Awesome!  Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Only that it’s never too late to start writing! I wish I had started earlier but I’m glad I finally did and the writing has been a gift to my life in ways I never could have expected.

Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite Song? One by U2

Favorite Movie? The Shawshank Redemption

Favorite Season? Fall

Favorite Food? Anything Mexican

Favorite Quote? “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

Any parting words? Thank you for interviewing me; it’s been fun to answer your questions!

Thank you!  It's been a pleasure having you visit the basement!  Folks, if you haven't checked out Polar Night, be sure to get your copy!

Book Blurb:

When Detective Danny Fitzpatrick leaves his hometown of Chicago and moves to Fairbanks, Alaska he wants nothing more than to escape the violence and heartbreak that left his life in pieces. Numbed by alcohol and the frozen temperatures of an Alaskan winter, Danny is content with a dead-end job investigating Fairbanks' cold cases. That all changes when a pretty blond woman goes missing on the winter solstice, and Danny stumbles upon some surprising connections between her disappearance and that of another Fairbanks woman three years earlier. Forced out of his lethargy, Danny sets out to both find the missing woman and solve his own cold case.

The investigation points Danny towards Aleksei Nechayev, the handsome and charming proprietor of an old asylum turned haunted tourist attraction in the Arctic town of Coldfoot. As he tries to find a link between Nechayev and his case, Danny's instinct tells him that Nechayev is much more than what he seems.

Danny has no idea that Nechayev is hiding a secret that is much more horrifying than anything he could ever have imagined. As his obsession with finding the missing women grows, Danny finds his own life in danger. And when the truth is finally revealed, the world as he knows it will never be the same. 

Purchase Links:

About the Author:

Julie Flanders is a novelist and a freelance writer. Her debut novel, the supernatural thriller Polar Night, is now available from Ink Smith Publishing. When not writing fiction, she loves writing about animals and animal-related issues and she runs the animal rescue blog Cincinnati Tails. Find Julie online at http://julieflanders.blogspot.com.


  1. Thanks for interviewing me, Leslie! It's great to be here on your site. :)

  2. Fun interview! Love your favorite quote.

  3. Hi Julie - looking forward to your next book!

  4. So cool how Polar Night was inspired by a dream. My owns dreams tend to be way too nonsensical to ever do something like that!

  5. I also love your favorite quote, Julie. I've read Game of Thrones and slogging through Clash of Kings. Since I've read Polar Night, I can say it was a remarkable read, and I'm looking forward to Ghosts of Aquinnah. Great interview, Leslie.